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Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger, No.1863, Sunday, December 18, 1831


As J. Smith, a labourer, was going to his work on Lansdown, on Thursday morning, the 8th inst., about half-past five o'clock, it was completely dark, but all of a sudden it became as light as day; he looked up and saw the element in a quivering blaze of fire for the space of a minute, after which it became as dark as before. He never saw anything like it in his life; it appeared to him like flames issuing from the sky.—The meteorite phenomenon was seen between Frome and Maiden Bradley, by Mr. Wadman, Weymouth carrier; by the turnpike man at Milford, (Elliott), to whom it appeared in shape like the face of a clock, about the height of a man; a quarter of a mile further it was seen by two men, and it appeared to them to have two legs to it like men's legs. The wife of the turnpike man said, as she lay in bed the whole room appeared to her to be in a blaze. At Brislington, it passed by a waggoner with a rustling noise like the wheel of a carriage, and there is a path way where the grass is completely scorched by it. It was seen at Devizes very high in the element; it appeared in various shapes and threw out a great light. Farmer Wooley, of Hinton, saw it like a large teakettle; it came down to the earth and then rose up into the heavens again. The hostler and several men at the Fox Inn, Milford, saw it like a huge figure of fire, in shape like a man; it passed by them and they though they should have been burnt to death by the heat; it then went up through the valley, like a man running, and passed two men near the canal, but it did not burn them; it then ascended out of sight. This phenomenon has been witnessed in various parts, in Devizes, in Wincanton, in Bridgewater, at the New Passage, by the Severn; at Frome, and various other places. The country seem puzzled how to account for the dazzling light, the heat, the curios forms it assumed, and the numerous places in which it was seen.—Bath Journal.